Inside Sales Engineer Job Description
Inside sales engineers act as negotiators between sales units and clients to increase company profits and revenue using specialized technical knowledge. This job includes creating specialized sales reports, enforcing sales plans and programs, and providing technical expertise and advice to clients. Most inside sales engineers work full time in an office-based environment, though some travel may be required depending on the organization. This job is well suited for people with a confident speaking voice and a passion for sales and customer service who enjoy helping clients solve technical problems.
Inside Sales Engineer Duties and Responsibilities
The organization an inside sales engineer works for will determine the exact duties they take on. Based on job listings we analyzed, these duties typically involve:
Search for New Clients
Inside sales engineers seek new clients who might benefit from the products or services their company provides and aim to maximize client potential in different allocated regions.
Negotiate Contract Terms
A key part of this job is negotiating tender and contract terms that match the needs of both the client and the company, establishing conditions that satisfy both parties.
Provide Pre-Sales Technical Assistance
Customers may not be aware of what services are available to them or what they need, so inside sales engineers provide guidance and assistance based on their problems, using their product knowledge to help clients make good choices.
Develop After-Sales Support
Once a sale has been made, inside sales engineers work with the client to provide technical help as needed and to carry out product training if necessary.
Develop Long-Term Customer Relationships
Inside sales engineers develop long-term relationships with clients by managing their needs and identifying which products they might benefit from. They persuade clients that a product or service is best for them based on their needs as well as the quality, price, and delivery terms.
Inside Sales Engineer Skills and Qualifications
Inside sales engineers should be confident speaking with people and promoting the unique selling points of products and services, which also requires excellent customer service skills. Typically, employers require a bachelor’s degree in an engineering subject and prior sales experience, as well as the following abilities:
- Customer service – inside sales engineers spend every day working with clients and customers and need to provide professional and friendly service each time. For this aspect of the job, great customer service skills are necessary
- Problem-solving skills – inside sales engineers need to be able to identify a customer’s issue or problem and find a product or service that will resolve it
- Technological experience – inside sales engineers need to have the knowledge and technical expertise to advise clients and assist them with any problems
- Interpersonal skills – being a great listener and speaker is vital to succeeding as an inside sales engineer, so applicants should have excellent interpersonal and communication skills
- Confidence – inside sales engineers need to be confident and persuasive in order to motivate clients and customers to make purchases and to upsell products
Inside Sales Engineer Education and Training
The minimum requirement to become an inside sales engineer is a bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline. It is possible for those without a degree to get a job as an inside sales engineer if they have previous sales experience as well as the necessary technical knowledge or training. Most university engineering programs require four years of study and typically include courses in math and the physical sciences. Inside sales engineers often receive sales training as part of their job induction, and it’s important that they continue their education throughout their careers to stay up to date with the latest technological advancements.
Inside Sales Engineer Salary and Outlook
The median annual salary for inside sales engineers is nearly $99,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Inside sales engineers in the 10th percentile earn around $57,000 annually, while the highest paid earn close to $163,000 a year. At the higher end of the pay scale, bonuses and profit-sharing opportunities can exceed $20,000.
Almost all employers provide medical coverage as part of their benefit packages, and almost 80 percent offer dental coverage as well. The BLS predicts that this sector will grow 7 percent through 2026.
We’ve collected some of the best resources to help you develop your career as an inside sales engineer:
“Sales Engineers: Re-Inventing the Wheel of Pre-Sales Technical Support” – this blog post provides a background on the companies that hire inside sales engineers and the benefits of working as one
Sales Fundamentals for Technical Specialists – a great reference for inside sales engineers looking to expand their knowledge of sales skills and techniques, this book explains how technical specialists can provide value to the sales process
The Evolving Sales Engineer – this book helps readers identify personality traits to anticipate concerns, handle the most common and challenging objections, and satisfy both company and client needs
Mastering Technical Sales Blog – this blog focuses on the day-to-day tasks and challenges that sales engineers face. It offers advice and guidance on a range of useful topics, from how the role might develop to creating engaging sales ideas
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